Tracy Keller: February 2009 Archives

IAB Sold-Out Annual Leadership Meeting: Live Blog - Tuesday

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12:10 PM

One last session for the morning and the event! Joanne Bradford, SVP, U.S. Revenue and Market Development, and Michael Walrath, SVP, Advertising Marketplace Group, both from Yahoo! are sharing 10 things they think really matter to the industry and Yahoo!.

Brands Matter
Size Matters
Service Matters
Price Matters
Flexibility Matters
Data Matters
Partnerships Matter (that’s one reason they are co-presenting)
Innovation Matters
Longevity Matters
ROI Matters

What doesn’t matter? The majority of the ad networks, according to Joanne.


Joanne Bradford talks about Yahoo!’s belief in the spirit of partnerships.

Michael Walrath speaks about why innovation matters.


11:40 AM

The annual Great Debate is underway. The statements around the center of it all: Brand marketers don’t need agencies. Interactive publishers can provide everything they need.

What does the audience think at the beginning of the session? Audience text message polling shows 64% disagreeing and 36% agreeing at just this minute.

Abbey Klaassen, Digital Editor, at AdAge, is moderating the panel of four - two who agree and two who oppose.

(A) John Partilla, President, Time Warner Global Media Group - It’s complicated out there. You can’t claim to do too much. We can’t do everything for every advertiser, but we can and will do much more.

(A) Sarah Chubb, President, Conde Nast Digital - Times are slim and the truth is that relationships are about doing the things that are missed. We’ve got to work together, not fight each other right now. She’s glad they aren’t in the ad network business because of the data ownership and Ts&Cs issues that are emerging now. They are never going to be the lowest price, due to the value of what they have to offer. You have to figure out where you fit in the ecosystem. 

(O) Quentin George, Chief Digital Officer, Mediabrands - As an industry we’ve done a bad job differentiating the value of what there is to offer. If we can understand the data, high value inventory will thrive.   

(O) Jean-Philippe Maheu, Chief Digital Officer, Ogilvy North America - We need to take today’s economic situation into account. In ideal conditions a brand is always going to go to a creative agency. It’s the long term trend, but right now we must all fight for the same dollars. We all want to create something fantastic and the creatives who can do it are at creative agencies. 

The audience poll results at the end of the session? Let’s see how convincing the sides where. 46% agree and 54% don’t. Looks like a slight change.

Our panel was all smiles before the debate began.

10:19 AM

Omar Hamoui, founder and CEO of AdMob, started by admitting he isn’t a “conference guy” but gave kuddos to this event. He’s got a few “news you can use” items to take home and start working. But, on to the good stuff—mobile. He’s displaying a live mobile campaign on an ad management interface and going over the details of how easy it is to manage and collect reporting. We’ll see what’s happening with the campaign between now and the end of the session. 

The platform is growing at tremendous speed and with diverse audiences. Any audience you want, they are there—and very targetable. What about the experience? Some users now prefer to use particular apps on mobile devices rather than online. Videos, maps, pull vs. push, rich mobile sites and more continue to make the mobile experience even more robust and they will expand farther in the next generation of mobile.

Eric Bader from Brand In Hand (an actual client of AdMob) is talking through their case-study and comparing the mobile work with other channel results. He agrees with the session title “Mobile: My Platform Can Beat Up Your Platform.”


Omar Hamoui explores the possibilities of mobile advertising with the audience.


9:50 PM

“Rumors on the Death and Display Have Been Greatly Exaggerated” according to David Rosenblatt, President, Display Advertising, Google.

The Google product development model has three core principles. 1) openness 2) results 3) efficiency. David is running through how Google is addressing them each specifically through products. The strategy is to use their large presence, technological advantage and more to make it happen.

How does Google feel about agencies? They love them because agencies understand brands.

Lots of questions from the audience:

Is Google a technology company or media company? Great question from an audience member who asked he try to avoid answering “both”. However, it is “both” says David. That’s the reality they are working toward. 

Do you believe all impressions are created equal? No - the point is that each unit of inventory has a different value to different people. The marketplace model takes care of that. Pricing isn’t the core issue—it’s yield.

David Rosenblatt explains how one man’s remnant inventory might be another man’s premium.

9:14 AM

Noticed any consistent themes throughout Ecosystem 2.0: Brands Battle Back? Randall has and he shared them to start the final day.

1. Interactive is an AND media not an OR media

2. Services (even consensus around what kind of services)

3. The value of the user experience

4. Use the tools

9:06 AM

The final day of Ecosystem 2.0: Brands Battle Back is just beginning. Last night’s dinner was the perfect end to a day of intense presentations, debate and discussion. The conversation may have been intense—but attendees still enjoyed some down time to reflect and relax.  Stay tuned for the final sessions…… 




IAB Sold-Out Annual Leadership Meeting: Live Blog - Monday

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blog-header-events.gif6:05 PM

Our last panel of the day took a political spin with a frank discussion on the lessons learned from the Obama campaign in social media.  Moderated by John Battelle, the panel featured:

Tom Arrix, Vice President Sales, Facebook
Andrew Mitchell, Vice President Interactive Marketing,
Rob Shepardson, Founding Partner, SS+K

The discussion ranged from the coolest thing they did during the election (CNN/Facebook inauguration mashup for Andrew Mitchell) to Battelle asking Tom Arrix if Facebook made money off the campaign (answer = page views went up).  Rob Shepardson also made some great points about how what Barack Obama stood for meshed perfectly with the Social Media platform in distribution and organization.

This was a great end to a fantastic day.  I’m off to the networking reception followed by dinner.  Tune in tomorrow morning for updates from Day 3 of Ecosystem 2.0 - Brands Battle Back.

The panel discusses how difficult it is for Barack Obama to stay relevant in social media after winning.

5:15 PM

Back from break with two more sessions until cocktails and dinner.  First up is Scott Howe, Corporate Vice President, Advertiser and Publisher Solutions Group from Microsoft. Going into the tail end of a day packed with learning and debate, this high-energy performance was just what the crowd needed.

Howe’s presentation was based on three statements:

1) What we can learn from the Great Depression

2) Why the Green Bay Packers are smarter than us

3) Why Geology and Physics should be friends

To try to explain through this blog how each of these statements leads to a lesson learned would not do the presentation justice - so here are the lessons minus the entertainment:

1) Adversity must fuel innovation.

2) We must as an industry defend our value.

3) There are challenges in our industry that can only be solved through collaboration.

I’ll be back in an hour with the final update of the day.

Scott Howe loves the Green Bay Packers.

4:05 PM

Creative is king as The New York Times team shares how they’ve used creative and “beauty” to drive a 38 percent increase in unique users.

Steve Duenes, Graphics Director, explains that the goal is to always deliver something novel to users—something they won’t find anywhere else. It’s about taking simple data, like exit poll results, and working through a way to deliver the journalism in a new visual experience. As a viewer, watching the samples he’s displaying, you almost don’t even notice you are absorbing the information because it seems so natural and interesting.  

Next up is Aron Pilhofer, Editor, Interactive News Technology. His group consists of ten journalists/developers that form a true project desk. They are working on visual ways to guide readers through important sections of documents, accessing information that traditionally could be very difficutl to sort through. Building community around the sections people wait for each week can and will change the future of newspapers. Is there another option?

New platforms, Times People, Times Extra and apps are slated to create loyalty and drive people back to The New York Times homepage says Paul Smurl, Vice President, Advertising. Multi-platform advertising isn’t new, but continues to be a focus for advertising sales. 

The last break of the day—I need a sugar rush! Wish me luck.


Steve Duenes walks the audience through recent visual data displays.


Aron Pilhofer explains the role of the new interactive news technology team.

Paul Smurl shares new platforms and apps designed to engage users.


3:20 PM

Back from lunch and a little warm sunshine, the afternoon sessions are underway. And, a little surprise…..

The IAB, with the help of small publishers across the country, created “I Am The Long Tail,” a collection of homemade videos from small publishers themselves, telling the story of how online advertising allows them to thrive in business and in life. The video will be available at soon.

David Doty introduces “I Am the Long Tail.”

Recession 2.0: A Deep Dive Into the 2009 Interactive Economy features two presenters. Mark Mahaney, Director, Internet Sector, Citigroup Investment Research, is taking on “Where Are Advertiser Dollars Going?” His big picture answer: advertising outlooks will continue to decline, but there is opportunity. There is a $125B opportunity, five times the total dollars spent on online advertising in 2008. The advertising spend can and will shift online. The biggest areas of ad innovation are mobile, video and local advertising. CMOs do like Internet advertising especially search, he says.

Terence Kawaja, Managing Director, GCA Savvian, is dealing with “Where Are Investor Dollars Going?” Private investor activity was ramping up. M&As were producing activity. The buyer universe was expanding. But, now the world has changed and so have the stats and the dollars. Content, agencies, performance marketing and social/blog deals are still happening because the investment spectrum is all about balancing risk and reward. And, social is going corporate while corporate is going social.

The good news: interactive is the only bright spot in advertising. Digital is the only channel that can deliver value to brands. It’s only going to happen with the support and help of the leaders in this room. 

Mark Mahaney asks what will be the Kindle of interactive advertising?

Terence Kawaja makes some provocative comparisons between Wall Street and Madison Avenue.

1:20 PM

Last year at the 2008 IAB Annual Meeting Wenda Harris Millard famously declared “we must not trade our diamonds like pork bellies” when speaking about ad inventory. David Payne, CEO, ShortTail Media, continued the pork analogy with a presentation about how to turn pork bellies into premium inventory.  He gave six steps to accomplish this:

1) Radically improve ad units - after all the two-minute commercial break is interpretive but it can also tell a story.
2) Radically cure metrics - we must move beyond the click and provide marketers with meaningful data.
3) Radically improve the creative - amazingly, interactive creative is not evolving as fast as television.
4) Create conventions - drive simplification to gain scalability
5) Develop smarter pricing strategies
6) Focus on simplification - simplification and standardization does not mean commoditization.

David Payne believes innovation is the heroin that both fuels and kills interactive advertising.

With all this talk of pork, I think I’m going to head out for lunch.  Be back with more this afternoon.

12:40 PM

Things picked up quickly after break with Bob Carrigan, CEO, IDG Communications Worldwide. He discussed the challenges that traditional media companies face as marketers continue to shift money into interactive away from legacy media.

The main concepts of Carrigan’s presentation were: Looking Below the Line, Audience Centricity, Everything is Custom, Beyond Our Borders and Evolution or Extinction.  Within each concept, the overriding theme was traditional media must embrace technology in order to create value for their customers.  It’s about turning media into a service.  There’s still plenty of marketing dollars to be spent.  The question is whether you can create the value marketers need in the digital age.

Bob Carrigan continued an overriding theme of Ecosystem 2.0 - turning information into insight.

11:55 AM

Some quick breaking news before the next session - Revenue Science is now known as Audience Science. Visit for more info.

11:26 AM

Randall Rothenberg just wrapped up a discussion with IPG leaders, including individual agency leaders. Nick Brien, President and Chief Executive Officer, Mediabrand; Howard Draft, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Draftfcb; Michael Roth, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Interpublic Group and Robert Bagot, Chief Creative Officer, McCannSF shared the details of how the IPG holding company came together and manages the business. Keeping their head down and focusing on the client and audience is working wonders for them.

A current Hyundia campaign was discussed as an example of how brands are listening to the challenges consumers are currently facing. The offer, in this case the option to return your new car if you lose your source of income, is an important part of the campaign. Media + offer + creative = direct marketing and much more these days.

Consumer engagement is more important than ever. That means blurring the lines between brand marketing and direct response marketing.

Breaking down silos between agencies and expertise has been key to IPG success.  One person is accountable for reaching across the different organizations and to the client. It is the agency’s responsibility to be accountable. Clients are demanding an open architecture so IPG is responding—and holding their senior executives responsible through compensation.

Audience members are talking too. Search twitter for #iabnet for details.

Off to a break. Need a snack to maintain my blog energy!

Our first panel of the day featured powerhouses of the agency world discussing how agency brands are battling back.


10:10 AM

Michael Mendenhall began by addressing how social media is impacting marketer reach. Social networking sites are now a source of advice and are being used to solve some of the world’s biggest challenges—for people who may have never experienced the power of the Internet. The paradigm is no longer centered on interrupting a consumer message with your product, it’s about creating a conversation around your product.

HP is tapping the collective intelligence of customers by hosting forums where they can help each other. These forums are expected to be critical to HPs success as the brand strives to engage customers through digital media. But, they don’t expect traditional outlets to disappear, just adapt.

One example is -  a  beta version of an HP site/product which allows anyone to customize and instantly create and print magazines. Sounds interesting.

Michael also drew comparisons between the successes of TV, through the help of independently and locally operated affiliates, and brand building online. Brands can become “the big tv three” by contracting with a vast number of local web sites. The problem is it takes time and research, which can be prohibitive. The winners will be the agencies who can rationalize it and pull it all together. And, they are begining to do it.

For many companies brand specific digital networks will just be a small part. Brands aren’t defined by campaigns anymore, but by the complete environment they create.

For HP success is about “return on information” not “return on investment” in today’s marketplace.

Michael Mendenhall believes brands are no longer defined by their campaigns, but rather by the consumer ecosystems that we need to support.

9:45 AM

Randall Rothenberg was back on stage to set expectations for the day and comment on last nights activities.

For the first time in any industry—anywhere—everyone has an opportunity to communicate with anyone. We all have unlimited access to information and the technology needed to share it. For us—marketers—this ability to create and distribute content creates a challenge. We no longer control the limit of information consumers can absorb. How do we prosper in a world without limits? That’s the reason the event is themed Brands Battle Back.

Our industry’s leaders are here to explain and tell us what they need from the rest of us to make it happen. First up Michael Mendenhall, SVP and CMO, HP.

8:49 AM

Welcome Back!

Good morning and welcome back to the sold-out IAB Annual Leadership Meeting. Looks like the crowd has recovered from last night’s hopping Poolside Welcome Reception (and the Oscars). Don’t worry, no one wound up in the pool—at least not before I called it a night.

We’ve got a full agenda today, starting with comments from Randall followed by the keynote presentation—Marketing 2.0: The New Affiliates—by Michael Mendenhall SVP and CMO of HP. I’ll let you know how it goes.

In the meantime, here are some photos from last night’s poolside reception.



7:10 PM

That’s it from Orlando for now. I’m off to the Poolside Welcome Reception for dinner and a drink—and some warm, fresh air. It’s a far cry from the snow showers I left behind in NJ. Check back in tomorrow morning and throughout the day for complete coverage. Tomorrow you’ll also find video clips of Randall’s and Wenda’s opening sessions on

7:05 PM

IAB Sales Excellence Awards

Back to the awards—it’s time now for the IAB Sales Excellence Awards presented by Jack Myers, Media Futurist, Innovation Consultant, himself.

They are based on as inclusive and objective a standard as exists in today’s marketplace, The Myers Annual Survey of Advertising Executives—the one database that contains multi-year metrics on the performance of interactive ad sales organizations of all types: portals, networks, individual branded publisher sites.

The envelope please…….

Account Executive of the Year: Josh Thau, Microsoft Advertising

Account Executive of the Year Finalists
Paul Chenier, IGN Entertainment
Dan Bonert, Yahoo!
Stacey Pear, Yahoo!

Long Term Achievement: Washington Post Digital
Most Innovative: Nickelodeon Online Sales
Best Newcomer: Hulu
Again, check in a few days for more details on these outstanding accomplishments. (Read the press release to learn more.)

Jack Meyers tells the audience they must capitalize on this time of economic crisis through the value of media brands in connecting marketers to consumers.

6:45 PM

Keynote Presentation

Wenda Harris Millard, President, Media and Co-Chief Executive Officer, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia and the IAB Board Chair, is now welcoming the crowd and explaining why brands need to battle back -the theme of this event. Running through the cold, hard facts of how the recession is impacting the media industry she suggests we leave 2008 behind and think about how we can move forward in 2009, but not expect much recovery.

Innovation, reinvention, renewing—these are the things we need to be thinking about now. We have to move forward and fast. We must master media complexity—both the right and left brain aspects of it.

Are we innovating as we should be? The advertising business is about the art and science of persuasion and now participation. How has that changed our plans? Where is the creative innovation in advertising? Are we turning the data into the information we need to share with marketers? There are lots of questions to be answered. It’s our job to help marketers stop interrupting the conversation and help them BE the conversation. We are the makers of magic - ACT LIKE IT.

Want to see what other audience members are thinking right now? Search twitter for #IABnet. The feed is jumping!

Wenda Harris Millard emphasizes that we must not concede marketing to technology.

6:05 PM

IAB Service Excellece Awards

It’s not time for the Oscars just yet, but close. (We’ll all be watching together later tonight.)

David Moore, Chairman and Founder of 24/7 Real Media and Vice-Chair of the IAB Board, is onstage now recognizing some well-deserving IAB members for their support and involvement.

First off, he’s thanking our 2008 committee chairs and co-chairs for their hard work.

Ad Operations Council: Adrian D’Souza, Google, Inc. and Dan Murphy, Univision Online
CFO Council: Bruce Gordon, Disney Interactive Media Group
Research Council: Rick Bruner, Google, Inc. and Beth Uyenco Shatto, Microsoft Advertising
Sales Executive Council: Sheila Buckley, Weather Channel Interactive ( and Brian Quinn, The Wall Street Journal Digital Network
Public Policy Dave Morgan,
Legal Affairs: Jason Ryning, Micorsoft and Brad Aaron, Q Interactice
Networks and Exchanges Committee: David Moore, 24/7 Real Media, Inc.
User-Generated Content & Social Media Committee: Heidi Browning, FOX Interactive Media
Email Committee: Craig Swerdloff, Return Path
Hispanic Committee: Mark Lopez, Terra Networks USA
Lead Generation Committee: Gayle Guzzardo, Q Interactive
Mobile Committee: Gary Schwartz, Impact Mobile and Sharon Knitter,
Local Committee: J. Sandhi Kozsuch, Cox Cross Media / Cox TV and Lorraine Ross,
Digital Video Committee: Joey Trotz, and Tim Avila, Yahoo!, Inc.
Games Committee: Dave Madden, Wild Tangent and David Sturman, Microsoft Advertising
Search Committee: Ron Belanger, Yahoo, Inc. and Tim Castelli, Google, Inc.

Now he’s presenting the IAB Service Excellence Awards to awards to recognize exceptional leadership and initiative development by a regular committee or council member or a working group participant. We couldn’t do it without your help.

And the winners of the 2009 IAB Service Excellence Awards winners are…. (drum roll please)
Lon Pilot, Platform A
Geoff Petkus, Operative
Steve Sullivan, Microsoft
Zack Rogers, CBS Interactive
Tim Avila, Yahoo!
Mike Hurt, comScore
Christie Lay, Microsoft
Leslie Dunlap, Yahoo!
Lisa Anderson, Time Warner

Congrats to all. Check out later this week for more details about the winners and their specific accomplishments. (Read the press release to learn more.)

Dave Moore recognizes the IAB Service Awards winners.


5:41 PM

The Kick-Off

It didn’t take long for the crowd of almost 500 to settle down as Randall Rothenberg, this event’s fearless leader, and President and CEO of the IAB, took the stage to officially kick-off the Annual Leadership Meeting—and set the stage for the next few days.

He reminded us that the whole point of the meeting is to confront tough questions—things that are usually discussed in back rooms are debated on the IAB stage. It’s the best way to resolve tension and smooth the path to growth, together. And—it makes for some pretty interesting discussion, heated or not.

The biggest challenges the IAB is tackling in 2009:

Brand Power - moving beyond the click and beyond the immediacy of today’s response

Measurement Simplicity - reducing the cacophony that surrounds every discussion about media measurement

Killing Complexity Costs - with the help of the IAB-AAAA Reinvention Task Force (Read the press release to learn more.)

Equity for Publishers - rewriting the standard, voluntary IAB-AAAA Model Advertising Contract (Read the press release to learn more.)

Loving Our Consumers - addressing the data-ownership issue at the heart of the regulatory debate in D.C.

Creativity - creating a creative renaissance in interactive advertising (Read the press release to learn more.)

Sounds like a full agenda to me. Good luck!


Randall Rothenberg opens the IAB Annual Meeting by asking if we can live with the tension between stability and dynamism.

2:40 PM

The Anticipation: IAB 2009 Sold-Out Annual Leadership Meeting

Welcome to the live blog covering the sold-out IAB Annual Leadership Meeting in Orlando. The event hasn’t officially kicked-off yet, but the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress is buzzing with excitement as leaders of the advertising ecosystem check-in, register and network while enjoying the warm Orlando sunshine—some even played a round of golf this morning. Seats for the sold-out Ecosystem 2.0: Brands Battle Back disappeared almost two weeks before the event, but a few lucky folks on the waiting list got last minute opportunities to come take part in the action.

The IAB Board of Directors meeting is currently underway. No one’s wasting a minute of this unprecedented opportunity to discuss the state of the interactive industry.

Check back here frequently over the next few days to stay in-the-know. This blog is your best source for breaking news and in-the-room action.

See you tonight. The General Session convenes at 5:00pm with a welcome from Randall Rothenberg, IAB President and CEO. He’ll set the agenda of what’s to come over the next few days.